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Why Choose this Lifestyle

By Aramock Nanuck

     February 1998

There are vast numbers of articles that hold in high esteem some members (both supplicants and dominants)  in a social context. Why and what the admiration occurs is based on answers to many essential questions?

What is Vanilla

I think that we must first explain the term vanilla. Vanilla is not the absence of flavour but a flavour in and of itself. Lifestyle people do not refer to non-members as "normal" because this indicates that members of the lifestyle are abnormal. Instead of looking at it as flavours, we take on the same aspects of several other lifestyle choices:

 

  • LBG community, in that you have "heterosexual" and "rainbow" communities. Since up until recently and still in many cases, the LBG community was considered fetishist, they are one aspect of our lifestyle, which has degrees of involvement.

  • Cross-racial boundaries have usually been a trial in large homogenous (the single strain of likeness) because mixed pairing is still harshly criticized in many groups.  These variations introduce a new flavour to groups that traditionally do no pair outside their race, religion or social context.

  • These trends combine with BDSM to form "racial supremacy" play, role-playing to challenge acceptable religious stereotypes, etc.  Again, all flavours of existence. 

  • Religious, racial, and cultural conventions bind a vanilla person to unaltered traditions of a society,  whereas the rest of us live an "ALTERNATIVE" lifestyle.

 

Strong Sub-Cultures

Today, the casual members of the lifestyle, in general, ignore many of these differences. Only Goreans and Pharaonic ritualists immerse themselves in a lifestyle version that significantly differentiates their model of activities. 

 

Starting the Journey

Individuals usually begin this journey on whichever side of the coin (dominant or supplicant) as a matter of curiosity.  Once started, efforts yield to define specific interests and desires. Then they begin to explore. Further, it is very much like doing a sociology or anthropology course and then the depth you cause to explore in more honest and intimate ways.

 

Over time many, but it is essential to realize that NOT ALL make the plunge into the lifestyle.  To some individuals, society, family, religion, or culture constraints do not allow them the transition. Typically, these people focus on other things like (commercial or political) success that their sense of balance becomes unimportant. It is often the chase of for power or merely to allow for continued stability in an otherwise challenging world. But again, it is not our place to judge them, only to acknowledge that they exist.

 

Cautious Involvement

Those who venture into the lifestyle for whatever reason tend to progress very rapidly from a newbie to someone with some experience. Their desire to explore extends from one aspect to more and more, eventually becoming eclectic. Many times, progression tears headlong until they reach a limit they will not cross. Other times it is like dipping your toes in a cold lake; the desire to swim battles with the cold, and it takes tortuously long to decide, get out or go to the deep end of the pool.  Frequently as others explore alternative activities, they compel themselves to compromise to have partners to share experiences. However, they remain genuinely watchful for the opportunities whenever they arise to enjoy those activities most desired truly. Finally, there are other activities that they avoid entirely.  The individual differences expand as their appetites grow and change, so does their involvement with the lifestyle. 


Impact of Dominants

Many dominants have an overly rational nature that can be disturbing to submissives and "vanilla" folks.  They invest heavily on an intellectual and emotional (if not romantic) basis in a real effort to understand the submissive with whom they are interacting. The lack of focus in a submissive's self-evaluation demonstrates when they have too many other interests and distractions in their life to be serious about this lifestyle. 

 
The dominant helps the submissive to find the focus on the main reason for their interest. Many dominants spend vast amounts of time thinking about that and even at times chronicling observations. The jumble of messages and ideas from a submissive needs to be evaluated, interpreted and then assess the known or observed subconscious motivations, which then emerges.  If individuals want to be successful as dominants, they will fundamentally help the submissive to be honest with themselves.


Often, dominants take rambling and bluntness as a defence mechanism intended to unbalance people, so they are less apt to focus. A lack of focus usually becomes an unfortunate habit with very self-conscious or confused individuals. Dealing with unsure individuals requires patience to allow the undisciplined to work through their discomfort and find their center.  Defensive anger, harsh language, and push back are similar defence mechanisms used by people unsure of their place. This lack of centring reoccurs in those who are uncomfortable in their role. These warning signs denote that a person is unclear as to why they participate in the activities.

 
The Struggle to Submit

Several individuals struggle with the thought of submitting, reluctant to acknowledge the part of themselves that needs to surrender. This struggle becomes down frightening for anyone with a healthy parochial or conservative upbringing when extending to a sexual context. They become of the specifics of such a thing; if it is even possible to trust sufficiently in the end to accept it. Some other stray detail individuals cannot recognize whether directly stemming from:

 

  • Just having someone else make the decisions, 

  • A lack of trust, 

  • A failure to understand, 

  • A people-pleaser attitude or 

 

This cycle continues until the comfort level reaches or exceeds the needed level. These individuals remain on the fence over making those decisions that are necessary to enable their self-discovery.

 

Today, social commentary and published "correct thinking" tends to be "politically correct," egalitarian and democratic; not found in this lifestyle and certainly not which most dominants would espouse. Typically, you will find it common to hear them say, "If I want you to have an opinion, I'll give it to you."  Those who play at rather than live this lifestyle apply this harsh approach.  It is valid to a certain point to make this lifestyle work; there must be an autocratic point to it to make the control work.  However, when someone is first entering the lifestyle, this is not the case.

The Change Mechanism

Supplicants become submissive solely when having their fears arrested, or the choices they have left are so bad that submission is the best of a bad situation.  The transition then is from submissive to the consensual slave, but we will address this later. The other potential is the transition from supplicant to slave. While this one is infrequent, indeed, it does occur.  The 20 odd dominants I have interacted with over the past 40 years have seen this a mere handful of times. The submissives who felt they had no choice in each case drove this effect. Every time some had an opportunity, they were either a fraud attempting to defraud someone or make a less definitive transition to a submissive.


Mixing Kink (Sex) with Submission

Sex and submission can blend but is a huge step, particularly for a newbie.  The lifestyle is such a broad arena that typical people begin either in a focused area (i.e., Bondage, Discipline, Protocol, or Kinky sex) and allow those experiences to mature until making steps to other activities. Taking the submission outside the specific situation to a broader context requires absolute trust and more emotional bonding between the participants.  This extension significantly adds to the confusion and doubts held by many.  The submissive needs to find someone to trust to make possible the commitment while ensuring they will be safe and protected.

 
Trust is the Foundation

The anxiety felt is entirely in line with the rationalizations and struggling one makes entering the lifestyle. The steps into actual submission and the lifestyle require total trust, knowing that imagination presents the danger and fears felt. Combining with a series of safe and sane experiences helps with the final thrust into the deep end of the pool and lifestyle.
 
No one's acts of discovery await a schedule but are one of its makings.  Those who delay continuing to discover awake 30 years from now saying, "Damn, I never tried that," and somehow feel the loss of an incomplete life.  Directly this discovery phase may well lead into, through and back out of the lifestyle in short order or may find an individual settling comfortably somewhere along the way.  Even if people do not remain in life, they have discovered what about it held meaning and avoided the later regrets.

 
A Safe Entry Point

So, if you are discovering, then do go to munches. These sorts of events give you exposure to the lifestyle by the weird and wonderful, sometimes sane, sometimes not and those who practice it somewhere in between. The one thing is a munch is safe for an independent as it is almost always in a public (so to speak) setting.
 

Notoriety

People of note rise in a community because their talent tends to snag communications opportunities that can cross boundaries and form a resonance with other social groups. They become non-threatening examples of ALTERNATIVE styles that the mainstream society can accept or even acknowledge.  Effectively, these people change the underlying views of others in the most meaningful and tangible ways.